Dive into a world of upheaval!

The Festival will bring together in Geneva those who have seized upon the debate and taken to the streets.

From 6 to 15 March, the 18th edition of the FIFDH will bring together in Geneva those who have seized upon the debate and taken to the streets to demand a fairer and more sustainable world. Across the globe, young people, women and artists have succeeded in shaking up certainties, overthrowing authoritarian regimes and upsetting the political agenda.

The 2020 FIFDH will look back on the recent months during which the world seemed to have boiled over. It will give a central stage to young people and those who act daily to rethink our future.

“We dreamt of a place that could become a laboratory, and that could spread everywhere, freely. A place that inspires, and nourishes, that does not give you a ready-made answers, but shows a myriad sparks that ignite everywhere, contributing to a fairer world"

- Isabelle Gattiker, Director of the FIFDH


When the climate becomes a global emergency

Rarely has a citizen mobilization taken on a global scale as quickly as that for the climate. The 2020 edition of the FIFDH will bring together protagonists and will address the climate emergency through debates and projections from multiple angles: the mobilization of young people with activists Océane Dayer and Anuna de Wever, collapsology with author Pablo Servigne, decolonial ecology with researcher Malcom Ferdinand, geopolitics with the academic François Gemenne and the role of law and justice in the fight against global warming with lawyer Irène Wettstein. Brazilian activist Claudelice Da Silva Santos will speak about the situation in the Amazon and will travel to Bern to deliver her message to the Swiss parliament.

The Festival will mark this movement with a spectacular installation by Dan Acher: We Are Watching, a colossal eye 30 meters wide made up of thousands of portraits and messages sent from all over the world to address leaders, which will be presented on Saturday March 7th in Plainpalais, Geneva.

> Programme and tickets: The events about climate


From local uprisings to a global protest?

In 2019, citizen uprisings affected more than 50 countries. Is this a trend of local movements or a global phenomenon? The FIFDH Forum will address the question. Alaa Salah and Tahani Abass, figures of the Sudanese revolution, will testify to the key role played by women during the movement that caused the fall of Omar al-Bashir. The Festival will focus on mobilization in Hong Kong with activist Amon Yiu Yeuk-wa and Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch. It will highlight the social and political protest in Haiti with the writer Lyonel Trouillot, return to the mobilization against corruption in the health system in Romania with the documentary Colectiv, and plunge into the heart of the velvet revolution in Armenia with I Am Not Alone, a powerful film shot by Garin Hovannisian following the footsteps of movement leader Nikol Pashinyan.

> Programme and tickets: Some of the events about citizen uprisings


Authoritarian responses by democratic governments

The FIFDH will open the debate on the use of police violence in democracies with Assa Traoré, activist and sister of Adama Traoré, who died in 2016 after suffocating while forced face down with handcuffs by three police officers, and will show the short film by Ladj Ly, 365 Days in Clichy-Montfermeil, filmed during the French riots in 2005.

Currently, attacks on journalists and freedom of expression are increasing. This will be the subject of a debate bringing together the Turkish journalist Hatice Cengiz, fiancée of Jamal Kashoggi, as well as the UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard.

Famous Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui, brutally dismissed for having exposed a corruption scandal, will also travel to Geneva. The protagonist of the film Radio Silence by Juliana Fanjul, she will broadcast her radio program that is followed by millions of Mexicans, live from RTS.

> Programme and tickets: Journalism and Freedom of speech, our events


Artists seize the debate

In a world where freedom of expression is deeply threatened, the FIFDH will give voice to artists who use it without concession. Chinese cartoonist Badiucao will recount his fight to deconstruct authoritarian powers. Turkish writer Burhan Sönmez who will release his novel Labyrinth published by Gallimard during the FIFDH, will also meet the Festival's audience. Egyptian novelist Alaa al-Aswany will speak during a Société de Lecture event and Jonathan Coe, major writer and chronicler of contemporary England, will make his first public appearance in Switzerland and talk about the role of humour and satire in his literary work.

The FIFDH will bring together leading artists who take to the streets. Street art pioneer Ernest Pignon-Ernest, this edition’s artist of honour, will be present and exhibit his work as part of the Festival, along with Joe Sacco, who combines comics and journalism to create extraordinary graphic investigations. Photoreporter Reza will be a member of the Creative Documentary Jury. Artist Prune Nourry will present her film Serendipity, produced by Darren Aronofsky and Angelina Jolie.

> Programme and tickets:  Artists at FIFDH || Writers at FIFDH


Cinema that approaches reality

The selection of the FIFDH will show films of the highest caliber, which shed light on current events. Made in Bangladesh by Rubaiyat Hossain, tells the story of the struggle of women workers in the low-cost textile industry and will screened as the opening film. The fiction selection also includes Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness, an Iranian film by Massoud Bakhshi and awarded the Grand Prize by the Sundance Festival, The End Will Be Spectacular, by Kurdish filmmaker Ersin Çelik, on the murderous siege of the south of Diyarbakir by the Turkish army, performed in part by survivors, and Nuestras Madres by Cesar Díaz, a Cannes award-winning film that recalls the darker hours of Guatemala’s history. The Festival will also feature The Cave, a documentary by Feras Fayyad filmed in the besieged Ghouta and nominated at the Oscars, in the presence of the film protagonist, Doctor Amani Balloor. The public will also discover Carol Dysinger's Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl), a 2020 Oscar recipient for best documentary short film.

The legendary editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now) will give a Masterclass co-presented by the HEAD around the film Coup 53 by Taghi Amirani. Diego Luna, a multi-award-winning and committed Mexican actor, will come to the FIFDH to denounce the impunity that reigns in Mexico and to highlight citizen initiatives, a subject that the FIFDH has closely followed for the last several years.

Finally, filmmakers, NGOs and Foundations will meet during the second edition of Impact Day, the FIFDH’s professional program aimed at imagining the engaged documentaries of tomorrow and to strengthen the power of cinema as a tool for social and cultural change.

> Programme and tickets:  From A to Z, the films selected at FIFDH